The Still of the Night

It was the thirteenth night of December, and the streets were eerily quiet. Not a single leaf stirred. Even animals had taken shelter, hiding in the shadows. The light from the full moon bathed everything in a silvery glow, but the fog obscured the distant view.

Along the streets, every house was dark. No one dared to leave the house or even look out the window. Fear of death hung in the night air. It was heavy with anticipation of impending doom. The stillness was almost magical in its surrealism.

The rumble of an old, beat-up car broke the silence. It was as if someone had lifted a magic spell as the car stopped, in the middle of a street, with no warning. The driver uttered a loud curse before he got out of the car and looked around him in frustration.

He walked up to the closest house and knocked. There was no answer. He tried a few other doors but to no avail. He was wondering where the villagers were when he felt eyes at the back of his neck. Someone was watching him. Every house’s windows were dark, so he couldn’t make out who his secret observer was.

Something was terribly wrong, and he had no way of knowing what. ‘One problem at a time,’ he thought to himself. Before going in search of fuel, he’d change the tire—culprit of his current predicament. He sighed and walked back to his car.

“You are a brave soul to be outside on the thirteenth night,” a crisp voice said, startling him. He was in the process of changing his car’s tire.

“Oh!” He stood up and looked at the speaker. The moonlight made it easy for him to see into the warmest brown eyes he had ever come across. “Finally, I thought I’ve stumbled upon a ghost town or something.” He laughed nervously.

It wasn’t easy to pinpoint, but for some reason the mysterious woman standing in front of him made him feel like a scared child.

“Indeed,” the woman drawled, as she circled him as if trying to look into his very soul. “Tonight is not the night to be out and about, Sir.”

“Yeah, no kidding.” He shuddered, more from dread than cold. “I was just looking for the nearest place to refuel my car and then, I’d be on my way.”

“I’m also looking for some fuel,” she said, stressing the last word as if it had some deeper meaning.

“You a-are?” he stuttered, leaning away from her. She was very close, he could feel her breath on his face.

“Yes, indeed,” she whispered near his ear, “but for my soul.” She took a deep breath, closing her eyes, and sniffed.

Fear paralyzed him, making it impossible to move a muscle. In horror, he watched as she smiled, this time baring her teeth—her not so human teeth.

“What do you say we find a quiet, nice place to fuel up?” She darted her tongue across her plump red lips.

‘So that’s the reason,’ he thought before his world went dark.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

This is another flash fiction written for Aim to Engage challenge at Wattpad. Also, don’t forget to check out my published work and leave a review if you have read my stories. It’s always appreciated. I love to hear from my readers so don’t be shy. 😉 Take care!

Forever is a Myth

No one lives forever,

Everything here is finite,

But when it comes to our feelings,

We want them to last, hoping they might.

All things come to an end,

Eternity is just a myth,

Yet, when we talk about love,

We pretend it’ll endure, calling it faith.

Nothing is ever perpetual,

The world itself has an end date,

Still, when we make promises,

We don’t consider the wheels of time, mate.

We lie to ourselves and to others,

We say our emotions will never change,

Hoping that our story won’t have a closing,

We think we’re special, that we’ll manage.

My friend, it’s not true, just an illusion,

Open your eyes to the reality;

No one lives forever,

All things come to an end eventually.

Admit the truth and be honest,

Don’t break hearts just because

You are too scared to accept it;

Nothing is perpetual, that’s one of life’s flaws.

#

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. If you enjoy my poetry, don’t forget to check out my published workMusings of an Untutored Pen is available at Amazon and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Time For The Quest

The village was abuzz with excitement, fear, and anticipation. For the first time in Rayet’s history, twenty youngsters were turning eighteen in the same month. They would embark on the quests to prove their worthiness. Each would leave separately with a map detailing everything they needed to know.

“Sasha left for her quest yesterday,” Ana said to her mother. The two were having dinner together.

“Hmm.” Her mother didn’t look up.

“Mom?” Ana prompted, understanding her mother’s absent mindedness. Her brother had never returned from his quest. It was five years ago, and her mother couldn’t recover from the loss.

“Ana,” Her mother looked at her, “you must return no matter what.”

“Of course, Ma. You know how capable I am.” Ana’s heart was pounding. Yet, she put on a brave face.

“No, listen to me…” Her mother didn’t finish the thought.

“Don’t worry. I won’t disappoint you. I’m worthy of living in Rayet.”

They loved their remote and peaceful village. Tucked away among the mountains, and guarded by a thick forest of tall looming trees, it was the only home they had known. The only road leading out cut through the mountains, and a mighty river ran parallel to it. It flowed too fast for anyone to survive it. Oddly, there wasn’t even a single bridge to cross it.

They grew everything they needed within the village. A few people trained to become hunters. Others dared not venture into the dark, deadly forest. Only a select few could pursue education, and they worked under the watchful eye of the elder. Other than the once in a lifetime quest, no one ever left the village. If they did, they never returned. People didn’t know what laid beyond the mountains or on the other side of the river.

“You have everything?” her mother asked the hundredth time.

“Don’t fuss,” her father said in annoyance, “Ana isn’t the first eighteen-year-old girl to go on a quest. You did too.”

Mother gave him a withering look but said nothing. No one ever talked about their quests, even though they had all done it.

“Ana, come forward,” the elder said. She walked up to him. The villagers had gathered to bid her farewell. It was an age-old tradition they upheld with pride. “Here is your map.” He handed her a folded-up piece of paper. “We’ve outlined the quest you must complete.”

She took it but didn’t unfold it. She wouldn’t know her quest until she was well out of the village. With one last glance over her shoulders, she walked on the uneven dirt road leading out of the village. She kept going until she was too tired to go any further and made her first camp in a clearing off the road.

***

“Child!” Someone was shaking her. “Wake up!”

Ana opened her eyes and saw someone hunched over her.

“They have sent another girl. How many times must I tell them I have no use for young girls?” The woman sighed. “Are you a witch?”

“What?” Ana was still half asleep and had difficulty processing her words. Did she say witch?

“Please, tell me at least you’re a witch,” the woman repeated herself.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Ana looked at her in confusion. She was an old lady—older than her mother, perhaps. She seemed harmless, but Ana had no clue what she was talking about.

“What’s your quest?”

Her inquiry reminded Ana of the map. She quickly took it out of her satchel. The sun was shining brightly and a light breeze played with her hair as she pondered over it. “I need to follow along the river to find a bird of paradise,” she muttered.

“As I feared.” The woman sighed and plopped down beside Ana in a gesture of defeat. When she said nothing else, Ana looked at her questioningly. “Bird of paradise is a flower that doesn’t grow in this part of the world, child.”

“Oh,” Ana hadn’t known that. She had assumed that if she followed the path outlined in the map, she would find whatever bird of paradise was. “Then why would they give me such a quest?”

“Well, isn’t it obvious? They’ve sent you to me. But I only want young men. What am I to do with a human girl?” The woman threw up her hands above her head.

Ana looked at her in horror. Not knowing what to say.

“Don’t fret. I will alter your memory and send you back. I’m not evil, you know.” She sighed again. “I was hoping for a human male. It’s been five years since the last sacrifice. Five years! That idiot elder,” she grumbled.

“What?” Ana screeched, all kinds of gruesome scenarios whirling in her head.

Without replying, the woman placed her right hand on Ana’s forehead, muttered something in a foreign language, and everything went dark.

***

“Ana,” someone whispered near her ear. She opened her eyes and stared into the green ones of her best friend’s. “You made it back. I’m also returning from my quest. Why are you sleeping here? We’re an hour outside of the village.”

“I don’t remember a thing,” Ana said, bewildered.

“I don’t either.” Sasha sat down beside her. “I woke up farther down the road. I have what I required to complete the quest, but I don’t know…”

They sat there for a while, contemplating everything. Ana checked and there was a strange-looking flower in her satchel, but she had no memory of retrieving it.

“Let’s go home,” Sasha said, mustering up a smile, “We’re back, that’s all that matters. Right?”

Only five of them returned to the village within the first month of leaving. Three came back after half a year, but they never heard from the rest. Life in Rayet went on. As usual, no one talked about the quests. They couldn’t even if they wanted to. No one had ever remembered anything from their one time venturing out into the wilderness surrounding them.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.


P.S. This short story was written specifically for What Lies There contest at Wattpad.

P.P.S. This story takes place in the village of Rayet long before the story of Sofia and Nadir happens. To check out their story unfolding in a remote, mysterious village read The Life I’ve Live by Fizza Younis. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday Musings: A Single Step

A thousand-year long journey

starts with a single step.

A wild dream of a fateful night

ends with a single ray of sunlight.

To know and have the luxury to forget

seems far-fetched, but it’s all you might have.

Chasing after one person,

hoping they’d stay; a ridiculous notion!

A million unsaid apologies can die

on your lips with a single sentence.

To believe you can change your destiny

keeps the hope alive, however tiny.

A hundred little wishes come to a halt

if you fear taking a leap of faith.

With a single broken heart,

the journey ends before it can start.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. If you enjoy my poetry, don’t forget to check out my published workMusings of an Untutored Pen is available at Amazon and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

I Will Live Again (A Poem)

I live in hope,

Someday things will change,

And I’ll break free

From this prison I’ve created.

#

I will live in hope,

Soon I’ll learn to laugh again,

Forgetting the pain

My ignorance has caused me.

I must live in hope,

Someone will love me

The way I deserve,

Healing my broken heart.

#

I have always lived in hope,

Because there’s a life after death,

I might find my happily ever-after,

Even If not here, then surely there.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. If you enjoy my poetry, don’t forget to check out my published workMusings of an Untutored Pen is available at Amazon and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Friday Fiction: Revel in Life

I had been staring at the wall for a few minutes. There was a small shrine at the foot of it. Burned out candles and dead flowers lined the sidewalk. The layers of paint coated the wall and three words of graffiti filled it; Revel in Life. Staring at those words, many thoughts raced through my mind. I felt that I had been there before, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t recall when or why.

The drizzling had stopped, and the sun was peaking from behind the clouds. I looked up at dispersing clouds and marveled at the contrast of darker to brighter hue of colors. Folding the umbrella, I was carrying; I started walking down the street with one last fleeting glance towards the small shrine. I picked up the pace when my apartment building came into view. This was my latest home. I had moved here a few short days ago. There was a lot that I had left behind, but not everything. Unfortunately, memories had followed me, and I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of dread no matter how hard I tried.

Entering the apartment, I threw the keys on the counter, and my bag along with my coat on the floor. I poured myself a glass of water and made my way through the unopened and half-opened boxes scattered everywhere I hadn’t wanted to unpack, because I wasn’t sure how long I would stay there.

My life had taken an unexpected turn when my husband and son had died a few months earlier. I couldn’t get far away enough to rid myself of the lingering memories, some happy, some sad, but they were all torturous. My therapist told me I wasn’t letting myself grieve, that’s why I felt that way.

Sleep, I needed sleep.

I picked up my bag from the floor and took out the bottle of sleeping pills. I hadn’t been able to fall asleep, that’s why the doctor had prescribed them. After a few minutes, my eyes became heavy, and I drifted off to sleep. My last thought was a plea for nightmares to stay away.

I woke up with a start. It took me a while to get my bearings. It was the same nightmare, the one I had been having since their deaths. Everyone I had ever loved was gone, leaving me alone in this wretched world.

What was I to do?

Putting both my arms around myself, I rocked my body back and forth. The movement calmed me down a little, but that’s when I heard it. Muffled at first, the sound became clear after a while. It sounded like a child was crying. I rushed out of my bed and frantically looked around the small apartment—in every corner, and behind every door—no one was there. The cries intensified and then suddenly, all was quiet.

I couldn’t sleep after that, but sun rose, and the day started with me still wallowing in self-pity. It might take years, if not a lifetime, for me to get over the deaths of my beloveds. I had resigned myself to my fate, taking one day at a time, and hoping that something would change soon.

“You’re late again,” one of my coworkers said, as I entered the office.

I couldn’t remember her name. The only thing I remembered about her was thinking how pretty she was when we first met. Saying nothing to her, I sat down behind my desk. Being fifteen minutes late was no big deal.

“Did you hear me?” she said again, trying to get my attention.

“Huh?” I looked at her blankly. I couldn’t remember the last time any of my current coworkers had bothered talking to me. Not that I blamed them. I wasn’t exactly an approachable person, and I had joined this office merely a week ago. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“You’re late again,” she said.

I tried to understand what she wanted to say by stating the obvious.

“I know that you’re new and all, but try to be on time. By the way, my name is Syla.”

There was something about her that made me stare at her like a crazy woman.

“Hello, come back to earth.” This time she waved her hand in front of my eyes.

“Sorry, I’ll be on time from now on,” I said, and looked at the computer screen in front of me. I hoped she would take the hint and leave. I had become accustomed to keeping my interactions with people to the minimum. I had always had a hard time connecting with others, and it had gotten worse lately.

#

It was another mundane day with nothing new or exciting happening. I liked this town so far. People mostly minded their own business. No one had asked me intrusive questions. No one had tried to be friends. I didn’t care if they talked behind my back. That had nothing to do with me. The days went by quickly and my despair stayed with me.

I was walking home after a long day at the office. Home, such a beautiful word. And yet, it had lost all its warmth for me. It was a place where I slept. My steps faltered in front of the shrine. It called to me and I stopped there for a few minutes. There was something about it that felt wrong. As if time had stopped and nothing moved. Something dark lurked in the corners, but there was light too. I felt that it was trying to tell me something I wasn’t ready to hear.

The nightmare returned that night, and so did the voices. The only difference was that this time I heard the laughter and the sound of running feet. Children, there were more than one and they were playing. Such a sweet sound. It filled my heart with longing.

No, no, I shouldn’t think about it.

There was no point in dwelling on something that could never be. My son was gone, and he wasn’t coming back. It wasn’t his laughter that I heard.

It couldn’t be him. Could it?

Ringing phone brought be back from my reverie.

What time was it, anyway? Who was calling me this late?

I looked at my mobile phone’s screen and saw an unknown caller ID. I didn’t pick up. Nothing good ever came from picking up the phone in the middle of the night. Even though there was no one left for me to lose. I was still wary of the late-night phone calls. I turned off my mobile phone and tried to go back to sleep.

#

It was the weekend, and I had nothing to do. As I looked out the window, I noticed how pleasant the weather was. Staying in on a day like this felt like a waste, and I decided to explore the neighborhood. That’s how we met for the first time.

He was standing in front of the shrine that had caught my attention many times. I had never wondered why it was there, but that day I did. I stood next to him as we had both stared at the dead flowers and burnt out candles. I had said nothing because there was nothing to say. It was obvious that he was grieving for someone too. After a few minutes, he walked away, but I stayed there for a long time, lost in my thoughts.

Clouds gathered overhead, and it was getting chillier by the minute. I looked up and realized it was getting darker. Walking back to my apartment, I promised myself to come back. This place had become special to me. I wasn’t ready to let it go.

That night the nightmare didn’t come, and I slept well, waking up much later than was usual for me. Perhaps things were going to turn around for the better. For the first time in months, I saw a ray of hope.

Should I dare to hope?

#

It was him again, the guy from the other day. He was sitting on the sidewalk near the shrine and reading aloud from a book. I stopped in my tracks, standing close by, and listened to him read. The story was about a kid and his cat. It sounded fascinating, yet sad. The emotions laced the very air around us. The pain came unexpectedly and took my breath away. I gasped, and he looked up.

His eyes had the same look in them that I had seen in my own when I looked in the mirror. I was sure he thought the same thing, because there was recognition in his. We understood without saying a word. Losing a child did something to your heart. It stopped beating, and you stopped living without dying—our grief united us.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you,” I said hoarsely. My voice was thick from emotions and unshed tears, trying my hardest to hold them back. Listening to him read, I had been thinking about my son and the nights I used to read to him.

“It’s okay, I was leaving momentarily.” The reply was curt.

It was an awkward situation, to say the least. Neither of us wanted to talk about the past. The questions were on the tip of my tongue, but I wouldn’t ask, and he wouldn’t either. It didn’t feel right to pry.

“Don’t leave on my account,” I said, “I was just passing by.” I knew, for him, this place was personal. For me, it was just a symbol. He had more of a right to be there than I. “I live nearby and…” I trailed off.

What was I even trying to say?

He stood up and gave me a small smile. “I’m not leaving on your account.” He looked at the wall for a second and then left. I noticed he went in the direction of my apartment building. I followed him, entering the building right after him. “Do you live here?” He asked, noticing me.

I answered in an affirmative with the shake of my head.

“I’ve never seen you before.”

It wasn’t a question, but I answered anyway. “I just moved here a few weeks ago.”

He said nothing, and we parted ways.

His misery drew me to him, but I couldn’t tell what he thought of me. Strange, how it had never bothered me before. Yet, I wanted to know exactly what he thought of me.

Did I look weird?

I had never thought of myself as a normal personal. With my head full of disturbing thoughts, I entered my temporary home.

My mobile phone was ringing. I hadn’t taken it with me, because I wasn’t expecting any calls or messages. I hated taking my mobile everywhere I go. It felt pointless and reminded me too much of my husband. He was obsessed with mobile phones, and he used to message me at least a hundred times a day. I brought myself back from my thoughts that were turning darker by the moment and picked up the phone. “Hello,” I said.

“Hi, is this Yasmine Baloch?” It was a woman’s voice that I didn’t recognize. Before I even answered she continued, “This is Syla, from work. You remember me, right?”

Ah, Syla. Why was she calling me at this hour?

“I remember,” I said.

Gosh! How socially awkward was I?

No wonder I had no friends. I didn’t know how to interact with people like a normal human being.

What should I say to her? Should I ask how she was? Was I supposed to say something, or just wait for her to state the purpose of her call?

“So, Hmm,” she said, “You know, I hope I didn’t bother you. I was just thinking, you know… Like, it’s weekend, and I was wondering what you might be doing. Maybe you’d like to hang out with me. I mean, it’s just… I know you’re new in town so, I thought maybe I’d show you around. But it’s okay, if you’re busy or have plans.” She was rambling, and it was kind of cute.

Apparently, I’m not the only awkward person in the world. I smiled at the thought and then I froze. I hadn’t smiled in all those months until then.

“Hello, are you still there?” Syla’s voice over the phone brought me back to the present.

“Yes, sure. I’d like to hang out with you,” I replied, surprising us both. I wasn’t sure why I accepted her invitation. I needed a friend, and she had offered.

We talked for a while, deciding to meet at a café near my apartment building. We were meeting after a few hours. I took a nap. I often did that during the afternoons. Sometimes a day would seem too long. Especially when there wasn’t much for me to do and no one to keep me company.

#

I saw her as soon as I entered the café. She was sitting by a window in the far corner of the cozy room. She wasn’t alone, though. I wasn’t sure who was with her as the person was facing her, and I could only see him from behind. I approached cautiously. Meeting new people wasn’t on my agenda for today, or this century.

Syla waved as soon as she saw me. “Hey, you’re here,” she said, standing up, “I ran into my brother. He lives nearby. But don’t worry, he’s leaving.” She explained the presence of the other person.

I had already reached the table and noticed that it was the same guy I had met near the shrine. We said hello when Syla introduced us and he left.

His name was Sameer. The family resemblance between him and Syla was unmistakable. I wondered why I hadn’t notice it before, but it’s not something we notice often. I had become even more curious about him, which was unusual for me.

#

After that day, the two siblings had quickly become my ray of sunshine. There were my only friends in this town. The friends you could count on. I was spending a lot of time with Syla and beginning to open to her. I hadn’t told her everything, but I had shared a few things about my past.

Slowly, my soul was healing. The peace lasted for a few weeks, and then the voices were back. Children runny and laughing, playing happily. They were driving me insane. I was sure that they haunted the apartment. It was becoming too much for me to handle. I knew that I’d need to change apartments soon.

It was one such day. I was sick of the voices and was in a hurry to get away from there. That’s when I ran into Sameer in front of the elevator. “Oh, sorry,” I apologized.

“It’s okay,” he said. He searched my face for something and then asked, “Are you going somewhere?”

“Not really, I wanted to get away for a while.” I didn’t explain more, and he didn’t ask.

We hung out together. It was nice to see a familiar face, and I liked him. The sadness in his soul soothed the sadness in mine. I didn’t know his story, but I could feel that it was something like mine. We had both loved and lost. We were both trying to pick up the broken pieces of our hearts and put them back together.

That day we shared our burdens with each other. I told him about my husband and son, and how they had died in a car accident. He told me about his daughter, who died in a school shooting. That was what that small shrine was about. Many families living in our apartment building had lost children when some random shooter killed innocent kids in a school nearby.

For a while, I forgot all about my loss and grief. The thought that so many lives could be lost in a blink of an eye, without reason or logic, made my head spin. Whoever painted the words “revel in life!” on the wall behind the shrine was one brave soul. We couldn’t live in our pasts forever. At some point, we would have to move on.

The voices in my apartment made sense then. They were the remnants of the past. They were the echoes of the souls that were forced to leave too soon. They never bothered me after that. I listened to them and I reveled in life. The ones who were gone had left behind pieces of themselves. Not to make us sad, rather as a reminder of what was, and what could still be.

#

That town was where I settled and began anew. I was tired of moving from place to place, and the timing felt right. The pain would be there forever, no doubt in that, but I could see hope. Things would never be the same, but they didn’t have to, because I was willing to make a new life. A life that wouldn’t be better than the previous one, just different.

“Are you actually laughing?” It was Syla who said that. I could understand her shock. It was the first time she had heard my laughter. I felt much lighter now that I had decided to revel in life.

“Don’t be too surprised.” I gave her a bright smile. We were having dinner together at our favorite restaurant. “I have some good news. Soon we would become more than friends.”

Sameer had proposed to me the night before, and I had said yes. Thus, life went on. I looked out the window, in awe of the beauty of the night sky. Weather had become pleasant, and scorching heat of the day had surrendered to the breeze that was taking away residue of my pain with it.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. If you enjoy short fiction then don’t forget to check out my published work. My books are available at amazon and are free with kindle unlimited. I hope you enjoy my stories. Thank you!

Wilted Flowers: A Tale of Despair

When you wake up to find yourself,

Amidst the thorns and wilted flowers,

Looking at your bleeding hands,

your mind cowers,

Feeling a terror that your aching soul,

will never overpower.

And among the endless rotting petals,

You try to find a single bloom,

Watching your fear leading you

to your doom,

A place of no return,

a future filled with gloom.

Unable to control your sinking heart,

All you see is death and despair,

Your battered soul unable to find

a tiniest hope anywhere,

You know then, you have woken up

into your worst nightmare.

The flowers you had planted over the years,

All are dead, lying on the ground at your feet,

Murdered by the negativity,

your expectations life couldn’t meet,

Yet, you still long to fulfill the dreams

that are good and sweet.

Wilted flowers everywhere, thorns that sting your soul,

The terror, the fear, the feelings you were holding on to,

Where to go from here,

you have no clue,

Tears streaming down your face,

obscuring your view.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

#

P.S. If you enjoy my poetry, don’t forget to check out my published workMusings of an Untutored Pen is available at Amazon and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Before The World Ends (Flash Fiction)

The porch swing swayed lightly as I took a sip from the mug of coffee in my hands, contemplating my life choices. I had lost all sense of time. I didn’t know how long I sat there, staring at the horizon, and wondering what my future held. The view in front of me was breathtaking, but I wasn’t in the right state of mind to enjoy the colors of nature.

My cottage looked over a beautiful valley. As far as the vision went, I could see the mountains reaching the sky like giants standing on guard. At the foot of them, I could make out the river flowing like a serpent, twisting and turning, making its way through the rocks, raising its head now and then, as if lapping at the feet of the giants surrounding it.

I stood up and walked towards the porch railing, looking down, I felt like standing at the apex of the world. It was a place where time stood still, untouched by modern civilization, tucked away between the Karakoram and the Himalayas mountain ranges. With a thousand years of history, this place had become my home away from home.

I took another sip of coffee; I was still deep in thought when suddenly, the wood floor beneath my feet rumbled, and I heard the roar of water. I looked towards the North and saw water rushing downstream, butting heads with the mountains. It made its way towards the valley, crushing everything standing in its path. I watched in horror, rooted to where I stood, as the valley disappeared beneath the water that kept rising with no end in sight.

***

I was one of the lucky survivors. My cottage was at a higher enough point that they rescued me before water could engulf it. However, that was only the beginning of an end. All the glaciers around the world had melted overnight. Warnings had been there, but no one imagined that it would happen in an instant. We thought we had time, but we were wrong.

Sixty-nine percent of the world’s fresh water was no more. The coastal cities disappeared beneath the ocean, taking with them around forty percent of the world’s population. That wasn’t all, though. The toxic released from inland glaciers proved catastrophic. The world as we knew it was no more. It was the beginning of an ice-age and survival would be a constant struggle.

It’s funny how a few years ago, sitting on my porch and drinking coffee, I had worried about things that didn’t even matter. How little we valued things until we lost them! It took the end of the world to make me realize that this moment, right now and right here, is all that mattered. What was or what would be, were inconsequential questions, and what’s given to me now, was all that I needed to hold dear?

***

“Rukia!” someone was shouting near my ear, “Wake up already.”

Without opening my eyes, I stretched my arms above my head, trying to make sense of things. Hadn’t the world ended? Who would shout my name now?

“Come on!”

The voice wasn’t going away anywhere, so I reluctantly opened my eyes and looked at my mother who was standing above me, glaring.

“Finally, now get up or you’ll be late from school,” she said, thankfully not shouting this time. Honestly, my ears were still ringing.

“Ah, I hate waking up so early,” I grumbled, rolling off the bed.

“Yes, don’t we all know that,” she said, sighing. “Breakfast is ready, hurry and get up.” With that last statement, she left the room.

I stood up, walked to my window, and looked out. My mother must have opened the curtains, hoping that sunlight would wake me up. I wasn’t a light sleeper, though. All I could see were rundown houses lining the street. There were no mountains or a mighty river roaring down towards me.

“So, it was all a dream,” I whispered to myself. Even though the dream had turned to a nightmare, but still I longed for the bluest sky I had ever witnessed, the fresh air and that mug of coffee in my hands. Living in one of the most populated cities of the world, in an under-developed country, my life couldn’t be further away from the one I had just been dreaming about. “Well, time to start the day,” I said to myself. Pushing back the negative thoughts, I tried to bring myself back to reality.

Someday, if fate agreed, I’d like to live somewhere away from here. I would make my home in a place much like the one I was dreaming about. “But minus the flood.” The thought made me chuckle. There was still hope. Before the world ended, I planned to figure my life out.

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. If you enjoy short fiction then don’t forget to check out my published work. My books are available at amazon and are free with kindle unlimited. I hope you enjoy my stories. Thank you!

Somewhere in Time by Fizza Younis

What a lovely review! And I absolutely adore the fan art by Lexi Wings. Do check out what she has to say about Somewhere in Time by Fizza Younis.

Intellectual Vixens

It’s a fairy tale retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty, set between the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, the story has a darker paranormal twist, and no happily-ever-after within sight. But what the future holds for our beloved characters, Aurora and Prince Phillips, is yet to be determined.

5 Stars

Somewhere in Time is one of the most imaginative books I’ve read. This fairytale retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty comes with a series of twists that’s it’s utterly creative! The characters are simple to understand and with enough depth for the reader to immerse  and get to know their inner struggles. The story is easy to read and fast paced, too. So, if you’re looking for something new, refreshing and with a little bit of romance and suspense this is a good choice. 

***Received copy by author in exchange of an honest review***

LEXI WINGS

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You Think You Know Me

Just because we have met,

Once or twice,

Doesn’t mean that you know me.

I’m deeper than you can ever reach,

Higher than your expectations,

And stronger than you might believe.

I’m changing constantly,

Today and tomorrow,

I will never stay the same.

Evolving, outgrowing myself,

Aiming beyond my capabilities,

I can’t be static in a dynamic world.

So, if you think you know me,

I ask you this;

Which one of me do you know?

The person I was yesterday,

Who I am today,

Or the person I will be tomorrow?

© 2020 Fizza Younis. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. If you enjoy my poetry, don’t forget to check out my published workMusings of an Untutored Pen is available at Amazon and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited.